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‘The head is for thinking’ – GES hits back at Prof Quarm ‘The head is for thinking’ – GES hits back at Prof Quarm

The heavily-criticised primary one natural science textbook, which claims the human head is used for carrying load, is not approved, the Ministry of Education has announced.

A statement issued Monday afternoon read: ” It must be noted that the book in question is not an approved textbook for schools under the Ghana Education Service,” and advised heads of schools and parents against patronising the said book authored by Prof. Joseph Albert Quarm.

The book, Natural Science for Primary Schools – Pupil’s Book 1, with an illustration, states the function of the human head is for carrying load; something that has since sparked public condemnation among some academic scholars.

Although some people including the Vice President of think-tank group, Imani Ghana, Kofi Bentil, have called for the withdrawal of the said textbook, Prof. Quarm insists the classification of the head as part of the human body for carrying load is correct.

“It is absolutely correct because over here we are using activity-based learning where you need to consider teaching and learning materials and where you need to take the child to the field to learn. It is perfectly right and hundred percent right,” he told Accra-based Citi FM.

But the Ministry of Education says its initial investigations have revealed the infamous textbook “appears to be uncommissioned solo effort by the said author [Prof Quarm]” and has thus not gone through the requisite approval processes of the Ghana Education Service.

It noted there is only one GES-approved primary one science text book – Natural Science for Primary Schools: Activity-Based Pupils’ Book 1 – which states on page 62 that “our head contains the brain which helps us to think”.

“The Ministry wishes to advice against associating the Ministry or the Ghana Education Service to this publication”, it said.

Why the need for a targeted education policy in Ghana Why the need for a targeted education policy in Ghana

What history says

Though Ghana’s educational system follows the British model and is considered one of the best in West Africa, it is still far away from equal standards across the country and lacks high standards of quality. It is the “right” of every Ghanaian child to be educated regardless of their economic circumstances and so theEducational Reform Programme of 1987 to ensure that even the poor and vulnerable get access to formal education was introduced. In 2000, world leaders committed to ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, would be able to complete a full course of primary schooling by giving them access to free education.

Validation of teachers’ salaries extended to April 15 Validation of teachers’ salaries extended to April 15

The validation process being undertaken by the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission (FWSC) in collaboration with the Audit Service, the Ministry of Finance and the Controller and Accountant General’s Department for workers within the Ghana Education Service is now expected to end on April 15, one month later than the originally scheduled date.

Teachers as well as education workers had been asked to submit particulars for validation by March 15 for the process, which will ensure that their salary arrears are paid.

“The off-site team, working on the validation, has so far received application forms in excess of 60,000 and wishes to assure all the affected teachers and other workers within the Ghana Education Service that the forms are being worked on,” a statement jointly issued by the teacher unions on Tuesday, March 15 said.

But applicants as well as district and regional directors of education have been given up to Friday, March 18 “to forward the rest of the data (if any) to Ghana Education Service headquarters for onward submission to the validation team for validation and subsequent payment”.

Those whose forms were queried have also been asked to “urgently respond to the queries to enable the validating team validate their document(s) for prompt payment of the salary arrears”.

Leadership of the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) and Coalition of Concerned Teachers, Ghana (CCT-G) have expressed optimism in the exercise.

Valley View gives Ghana its youngest Vice Chancellor Valley View gives Ghana its youngest Vice Chancellor

Accra, March 08, GNA – Professor Daniel K. Bediako has become Ghana’s youngest Vice Chancellor following his installation to the high office of the Valley View University (VVU), Ghana’s premier private university. Prof Bediako, 39, thus becomes the third VC since the school became a fully-fledged university and the first alumnus of VVU to hol Read More

Turning polytechnics into universities takes off in 2016 Turning polytechnics into universities takes off in 2016

Government’s policy of converting polytechnics into technical universities will take-off in September 2016, to help reposition them as strategic institutions for the training of highly-skilled human resource to drive the nation’s socio-economic development.
Dr George Afeti, former Secretary General, Commonwealth Association of Polytechnics in Africa and former Rector, Ho Polytechnic, said government would soon place a bill on the conversion of polytechnics into technical universities before Parliament to give legal backing to the take-off.

He said converted polytechnics are not to become “traditional” universities with similar mandates or duplicate the courses and programmes that the universities are offering.

Dr Afeti, who was the Chairman of the Committee that developed the roadmap for conversion of polytechnics to technical universities, was speaking to the Ghana News Agency in Accra on Saturday on the sideline of the swearing-in of an 18 member new council and the induction of 180 new members into the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ghana (formerly Institution of Incorporated Engineers).

He said the Committee recommended a gradual upgrading of existing polytechnics into technical universities based on criteria such as qualification level and practical industrial experience of lecturers and the collaboration of the polytechnic with industry and business.

Others are infrastructure, equipment and training facilities at each polytechnic.

He said the rationale and justifications for converting some of the polytechnics into technical universities is to achieve parity of esteem with the universities without departing from the practice-oriented philosophy of polytechnic education and training.

The former Rector said upgraded polytechnics would be required to remain focused on their core function of training technicians and technologists at a higher level to meet the exigencies of the rapidly changing, technology-driven work environment.

He said the technical universities are not to mimic the traditional universities or depart from their original mandate of training for the world of work; rather, they would provide training opportunities at all levels of skills development, in particular at higher levels.

Dr Afeti said the universities of technology in South Africa, and the universities of Applied Science in Germany, the Netherlands and Finland are good examples of such industry-focused higher education institutions.


A new chapter of women leadership on campus A new chapter of women leadership on campus

The students’ representative councils (SRCs) across universities in Ghana have been dominated by male leadership over the years. It appears as if the presidential seat is frightening and by nature, masculine. It is uncommon to hear of a woman coming forth as an SRC presidential candidate.

But my question here is; why should it be so? Is it due to the assumption that women have about society or is it the politics of the system? Is there anything leadership of the SRC can do to help combat this problem? And will the status quo ever change? Well, let’s find out.

“Do you think a woman can ever become the SRC president of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and why would you vote for a female candidate as your next SRC President?” Well, these are common questions asked by people but most a times receive weird answers.

This time, the question came from no other person but Emmanuella Elikplim Katahena, third year student of political science who is known for her participation in various debate championships in Ghana and the sub region. Personally, answering that question was very simple because I generally do not fancy the culture of patriarchy even though majority of men do. I see no problem with voting for a female candidate to become SRC president when I know she has all that it takes to be in that position.

Here in the heart of KNUST like other universities in Ghana, ladies tend to look down upon themselves and do not see themselves as capable to compete with men for presidential positions. They often prioritize men as the ones “born to rule” and such myopic ideologies entangle their minds; they shut down their visions for leadership positions and level themselves to subordinates of men. It was until recently that few female candidates begun contesting as vice presidents at various departments and faculty levels. More often than not, Female politicians prefer secretariat and women commissioner portfolios but do not have much, if there were any, interest in presidency; an ideology that must be reconsidered and rebranded.

I believe many friends, colleagues and even parents disagreed with Louise Carol Serwaah Donkor’s decision when she was contesting for the University of Ghana SRC presidency in 2012 but she never gave up. She went ahead, took a bold step, broke herself out of the ordinary box and contested against nine (9) male presidential aspirants. One female against nine able men was a tough battle but surprisingly, in the first round, She had (23.7) of total vote cast and Christian Kwabena Ansah had (22.3) resulting in a run-off where she whipped Christian by 60.5 % and became the first ever female president of the University of Ghana. She opened a new chapter for women which have become a legacy in Legon.

At this point, permit me to ask if you believe that the woman and the man can equally compete for higher leadership positions in this 21st century. You do not have to side with me but I believe with the level of democracy in Ghana, women can do better if Women Advocacy Networks; NGOs and women commissions would outline certain measures to encourage and endorse more women to contest for presidential positions or If possible, funds should be made available to assist brave women with exceptional qualities and competency with the passion to contest for the SRC presidential office. It would be a great competition if at least two female candidates are endorsed for SRC presidential position every year. For this reason, I see the two Emmanuella’s (Katahena Emmanuella and Sika Emmanuella) among this year’s KNUST SRC presidential candidates, and one other female candidate in Legon’s SRC race (Esinam), as new voices, chapters and elements for women empowerment in the political arena. They have made women proud due with their bold decision and I wouldn’t be surprised to see one of them emerging victorious. The major excitement lies in the fact that they have taken off the veil of the “monstrous” seat and have set the foundation upon which other women would follow.

“We can do anything we want to do if only we put our minds to it.”

Teacher Invents African Numerals For Ghana Teacher Invents African Numerals For Ghana

A basic school teacher in the Northern region of Ghana has invented what he calls African numerals.

Amadu Hudu believes his numerals can facilitate effective teaching and learning of numeracy in the country’s schools.

A 25-page book containing Mr Hudu’s numerals said to have been certified by the Ghana Education Service, was launched on Friday, September 5, 2014, Read More

Gov’t committed to girl-child education – Minister Gov’t committed to girl-child education – Minister

Mr Kojo Bonsu, Kumasi Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), says government would not shirk its responsibility on girl-child education.

The government, he said, is determined to equip the girl-child with the relevant literacy skills to be groomed for the benefit of the nation.

Speaking to Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, he said the ruling National Democratic Congress is , Read More

We Will Pay POTAG But Don’t Know When – Ablakwa We Will Pay POTAG But Don’t Know When – Ablakwa

Polytechnic lecturers have once again threatened to call a strike action if government refuses to pay their August salary.

This comes barely a month after the Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) called off its three month long strike over unpaid Book and Research Allowance.

According to the lecturers they will advise themselves if government refuses to pay them their August salary.

Before an agreement was reached for the lecturers to call off their strike, there were rumours that government had ordered Controller and Accountant General to freeze the August salary of the lecturers, Read More

Kumasi Poly To Relocate To Kuntenase Kumasi Poly To Relocate To Kuntenase

Kumasi Polytechnic (K-Poly) has completed discussions with a Canadian firm to relocate its current campus to a 300-acre land at Kuntenase in the Bosomtwe District within the next two years.

Briefing the media just after talks with the Canadian team and government officials in charge of Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy, the Rector of K-Poly, Professor Nicholas N. N. Nsowah-Nuamah, noted that under the plan, the new campus would have 10 faculties.

Other facilities
Other facilities are hostels that would accommodate 10,000 students on campus, a shopping mall, an administration block, offices for financial institutions and health and other facilities that would position the campus as a complete modern hi-tech village, Read More

NAGRAT holds colloquium on education NAGRAT holds colloquium on education

The National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT) is scheduled to hold a colloquium on Friday, August 29 to discuss ways to improve the standard of education in the country.

The colloquium is expected to assemble all stakeholders including the Ministry of Education, Read More

Gov’t, to pay POTAG book and research allowances Gov’t, to pay POTAG book and research allowances

Government and Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG) have finalized a deal on modalities for the payment of book and research allowance that triggered a three-month old strike leading to the closure of polytechnics.

In a six-point Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached at the end of a two-day crunch meeting, government reaffirmed its resolve to pay the allowance for 2013/2014 academic year with immediate effect and to be completed by the end of 2014 fiscal year, Read More

Talks to end UTAG strike fails Talks to end UTAG strike fails

University students eager to begin the new academic year will have to wait a while longer as discussions to bring their lecturers back to the classroom failed to produce any concrete result.

It has been a very busy first week for Haruna Iddrisu as Employment Minister.

The Minister is attempting to bring harmony to the education sector, after successfully securing an end to strike by Polytechnic Teachers Association of Ghana (POTAG), Read More

KNUST Offers More PhDs KNUST Offers More PhDs

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology(KNUST) has initiated a programme under which it would retain in the university young and brilliant students to commence a three-year PhD programme as a means of stemming the brain drain. After the award of the doctorate degree, the students would be required to serve the university for two years.

The programme has started with 60 students who would be robed at the 41st congregation of the university in 2007, Read More

KNUST To Introduce Aerospace Engineering KNUST To Introduce Aerospace Engineering

The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) is to introduce a new programme in Aerospace Engineering next year, the first in West Africa. The move has been given a boost by the Washington State University in the US, which has offered to provide KNUST with the equipment needed for the course.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Kwesi Andam disclosed this in an interview with LUV FM after launching the fifth annual trade and technology fair organized by the Students Representative Council of the University, Read More

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